Showing posts with label British Columbia. Show all posts
Showing posts with label British Columbia. Show all posts

Sunday, July 24, 2022

Surrey Fusion Festival Returns at Holland Park


The largest and most diverse festival in Western Canada returns in its 15th year, and we took part to celebrate and enjoy a weekend of multicultural understanding and experiencing diversity in food, culture, live music, and entertainment.

British Columbians and the residents of the city of Surrey once again gathered at Holland park after 2 years since the pandemic. This was the largest crowd since it started in 2008 perhaps due to the desire of the people to reunite and bring back a more lively scene where everyone can enjoy a wide variety of cultural offerings from different countries in the world.

This year's Surrey Fusion Festival theme is CommUNITY. A single word that describes how the world must be in difficult times where global health threats have affected us live, interact and socialize.

From the Latin countries of Bolivia, Argentina, and Columbia. Asian countries like India, Vietnam, and Indonesia. African countries like Ghana, Kenya, and Nigeria. European countries like Germany, France, and the Netherlands. Southwestern Pacific like Tonga and Fiji. Caribbean countries like Barbados and Cayman Islands. These are some of the 40 pavilions that showcased their food, culture, arts, music, and dance.

The pandemic seems over as the crowd cheers for fun and a manic vibe. It's the delicious authentic food, arts, dance, and music that draws people to have a taste and experience world cultures in one venue.

Other features include a wellness garden where people can learn and experience yoga and meditation, Indigenous Village to learn about their culture through traditional cultural sharing. Global beer and wine tasting to sip some cold beverages from around the world. A cultural cooking arena for a showdown in a cooking competition. And stages where wold-class performers and talents are presented to the crowd.

It was a great experience to have celebrated the Surrey Fusion Festival for the first time and I would be glad to make it a yearly event to watch out for. CommUNITY is about the spirit of camaraderie that builds bridges for multicultural understanding and inclusivity. We unite for a common goal of bringing peace, love, and compassion to make our world a better place to live in and for the next generations to preserve and enrich their own culture for the world to see, embrace and be proud of.

©️ 2022 Del Cusay

Sunday, July 17, 2022

White Rock Gallery: Beyond the Frame


To appreciate art is about understanding the deepest of emotion; its meaningful realization; and validation of purpose and intention.

That's the uplifting lesson learned from a visit to an art gallery in White Rock, British Columbia. It's a city by the sea and a place where arts, history, and culture thrive amidst the test of time.

An art gallery may not be the usual place to visit in the present times. It may not be welcoming, but intimidating to other people who may not have an interest or appreciation of fine arts.

Back in my home country, the Philippines, I've learned to admire and appreciate works of art and masterpieces in the Cultural Center since 2012. Since then, I've carried the same passion and admiration whenever I visit another country or place with high regard for culture and the arts.

In Metro Vancouver, British Columbia, every city has a public art gallery that's open to everyone, and White Rock Gallery is one of the most beautiful places to be. It was my first ever Art Gallery experience in Canada and It was a meaningful experience.

Nowadays, people choose modern forms of entertainment and haven't discovered and learned about the joys of visiting an art gallery or any art exhibits. However, fine artists and art enthusiasts have devoted their time, resources, and money to making arts more relevant in today's present generation.

What makes art galleries intimidating to others is that we're not taught how to appreciate and decode its meaning from the artists' perspective or point of view. We couldn't interpret abstract paintings and even find meaning in a realistic painting.

With our smartphones, we can just take a raw picture of a place, do some editing, then call it art. It's the easiest form of art we can do. However, fine art demands time, energy, emotion, and a soul to create a more valuable masterpiece; the reason why paintings and sculptures are expensive. 

In reality, we tend to ignore or snub expensive things because we can't afford them. The same thing with fine arts, some wouldn't appreciate its value because they can't relate to and find meaning in a painting. But to afford it isn't just about owning it. It's also about enriching our life experience and worth as human beings just by paying a visit to an art gallery even once in a lifetime.

Art is part of our culture and a deep appreciation and admiration are what give us a certain connection with the community we live in. Art evokes various emotions depending on what the artists would want us to feel. It makes us joyful, sorrowful, awed and puzzled. It moves us, touches our souls, and made us love at first sight.

As I view the gallery, some paintings attract my attention and draw me closer to scrutinize and finally gave meaning to them. It gave happiness and a sense of belonging to a community of artistic people who have the desire for understanding, passion, and motivation for self-expression.

©️  2022 Del Cusay

Sunday, June 19, 2022

The Krause Berry Farms and Estate Winery in Langley

 

The summer season in Canada is fast approaching, but the cool temperate climate prevails just before the end of spring.

In Langley, British Columbia, farm tourism draws many families for a weekend of pure fun and relaxation in a naturally beautiful outdoor setting and al-fresco dining.

There are so many family-owned and operated farm destinations in Langley and the Fraser Valley, but I got fascinated with the countryside ambiance of the Krause Berry Farms and Estate Winery.

The Berry Farm is a 200-acre property that was open to serve the public in 1974. Since then, they have enjoyed their bountiful harvest and served it to their guests and visitors. 

Just half an hour's travel from home, we had our breakfast having their famous waffle with fresh strawberry toppings and cream. That's a fresh-picked strawberry in their field and we had our own U-picked experience in the vast field.

Depending on the season, they also produce other berries like blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries which are patronized by their loyal customers for the best culinary offering and U-picked experiences.

The beautifully landscaped lawn and garden are perfect for a great outdoor dining experience with a raspberry field on a backdrop adding up to the berry farm vibe.

Then fresh strawberry picking follows which was a wonderful experience since their berries are sweet and delicious. We had carefully picked the big and riped strawberries for takeaway. Parents and their little kids enjoy picking experiences and just anyone seems happy to touch the soil and the earth-grounding experience.


The Krause Berry Farms has over a hundred products that they produce on the farm and are sold in their home and garden market. They have a bakery where they make freshly-baked products like berry custard pies and cookies. 

Fresh berry waffles are served in their waffle bar indoors and can be enjoyed in their garden or a patio for a wonderful outdoor ambiance.  

The best farm experience happens when the owner cares a lot about making sustainable farming be enjoyed and shared with the public. The Krause Berry Farms have been producing crops in an environmentally sustainable way and have been supporting and serving communities for several years making them influential and a leader in the farm tourism industry.

A great week starts with envigorating thoughts, nourished by healthy food and enriched with a soulful experience. That's the way we do it as we journey to the valley at the Krause Berry Farms and Estate Winery.

©️ 2022 Del Cusay

Sunday, June 5, 2022

Seafood Celebration in Steveston


It's getting warmer in Canada in the second half of the Spring season and this is an ideal time to get out and enjoy the sunshine on the waterfront and patio.

In the fisherman's wharf in Steveston, British Columbia, many people visit and have fun in the outdoors. The fishing village is more alive once again after 2 years since the pandemic and they are excited about the much-awaited Spot prawn and seafood celebration from May 6 to June 5. 

For seafood lovers, this is a chance to see and buy fresh catch spot prawns and other seafood that's sold directly from the fishing vessel in a floating seafood market.

The fisherman's wharf is just a few meters away from Garry point park and people enjoy strolling at the promenade up to the restaurant patio. That's a good way to unwind and feel the healing benefits of a sea breeze. 

A take-home fresh spot prawn is the highlight since it's one of the best varieties of prawn. It's crisper, firmer, and tastes better. It's the most in-demand as people line up to buy a pound or more.

The good thing about the fishing industry in Canada is that it's highly regulated for product quality, public health, and safety. The fishermen are only allowed to sell a specific variety of seafood that they're licensed to harvest. They need to hold and display a license on their stall and display a whiteboard that lists the species they're selling, where it was harvested, and the name of the vessel used for harvesting. That information safeguards the public that only the highest quality products are being sold at the fish sales float.

A visit to Steveston Harbour is a celebration of reviving the fishing industry and supporting local fishermen in British Columbia. This place has got plenty of marine life and vendors selling the produce of the highest quality and abides with the laws and regulations governing the fishing industry. 


©️ 2022 Del Cusay

Sunday, May 22, 2022

The Birchwood Dairy Farm in Abbotsford


The weekend has never been this fun when in a valley and a farm. That's how we spend time unwinding in the beautiful and relaxing ambiance of the Birchwood Dairy Farm. 
 
In Abbotsford, British Columbia, there are many farm destinations to choose from since it's located on the fertile land of the Fraser Valley where Agri-tourism is widely promoted and becoming a lifestyle.


The farm is owned by the Krahn family who's been in the dairy farm business for several decades in the Fraser Valley and managing the 22 acres of the farm, taking care of hundreds of cows and producing dairy milk and other dairy products.

What makes this dairy farm a favorite destination is their gourmet ice cream that's rich and creamy from the fresh milk produced by their happy and healthy cows. There are about 50 flavors to choose from including maple walnut, raspberry, blueberry, strawberry, and cookies and cream which we've bought in a cone and take home in a liter bucket. That's a relief during sunny and warmer days just before the summer begins.


The dairy farm is also a favorite stop among partners and families who wanted to explore more and learn about how the dairy milk and products and produced on the farm. It's also a popular stop among cyclists, motorcyclists, and students on an educational tours. This dairy farm is family-friendly and just for anyone who's into 
uncrowded, fresh air, and a great view of a natural environment.

I've learned that Canadian livestock are free from growth hormones and the use of antibiotics and other medications are strictly regulated. At Birchwood dairy farm they take good care of their cows so they are always healthy, so they produce the tastiest and creamiest milk. That makes their gourmet ice cream one of the best premium-quality I've ever tasted.


For a brief period, exposure to the dairy farm gives a perspective on how dairy cows are ethically raised, how dairy products are produced, and how it's being sold and patronized by people who know what a quality dairy produce tastes like. 

At Birchwood dairy farm, we see happy families, playful young kids, and everyone who radiates the calm and positive energy that the dairy farm brings. It's on my farm destination lists, and I'll be happy to always go back and create wonderful memories that are something to cherish and reminisce.

©️ 2022 Del Cusay

Sunday, May 1, 2022

The Tulip Festival in Chilliwack


It's Springtime in Canada and other flowers take their turns to bloom just when the cherry blossoms started to fall off.

It's time to see the 30 colorful varieties of tulips and other flowers like daffodils and Hyacinths for this year's re-opening of the British Columbia's largest flower festival.

The Tulip Festival in Chilliwack is the largest flower festival in British Columbia and Western Canada. It's this time of the year when millions of bulbs of Tulips are blooming on a 20-acre flower farm. 

This is the 16th year of the Tulip Festival in Chilliwack and it attacks tens of thousands of people from the lower mainland and nearby cities to witness the beautiful blossoming of tulips similar to the famous tulip farms in the Netherlands.

The Dutch-inspired tulip farm has features like a windmill, a chapel, a swing, and benches for a great photo opportunity. It's a perfect place for families and couples for a romantic walk while surrounded by a magnificent mountains backdrop.

In times when people are starting to live normally again, a visit to a Tulip farm uplifts the mood and makes one appreciate the natural wonders while seeing each other's faces and smiles without barriers.

What makes life more beautiful is when people bloom like a flower; radiating purity, serenity, and positivity. When life seems blue, these flowers remind us that we can stand tall and create abundance, experience pure joy, and peace in our hearts. 

©️ 2022 Del Cusay

Sunday, April 17, 2022

Holy Week 2022: A Journey to Paradise


The earth is healing. That's the message of hope and love this Holy Week. Finally, we get healed from the suffering brought by the pandemic. It may not be the end yet, but we don't live in fear and prolong the agony.

Travel is what we desire this Lenten season. This way, we get to experience a new perspective on living. We cross the borders and travel across the sea. A hundred miles of the journey; with immeasurable faith to Thee. 

We Journey to a paradise to see and feel God's heavenly creation. This time in Victoria, the capital of British Columbia. A charming city that's rich in history. A story from the first nations passed down from generation to generation.


A walk around downtown Victoria is reminiscent of the distant past where laidback living thrives even in the present. I feel the calmness and the serenity; the cool vibe I'm eager to see. This is the place to explore to find meaning and start a new beginning.

The message of God is clear, that beyond suffering is a promised land where we live a heavenly experience. We walk with faith and we allow suffering just as we carry the cross towards our destination and salvation. We do not fear, but we trust God's will. 

©️ 2022 Del Cusay

Sunday, April 10, 2022

Taking a Leap from Hope to Faith


We all have fears and doubts. But believing that something can happen makes a difference in our lives. More so if we leap from believing to surrendering.

We have hopes because we can be achieved whatever our hearts desire. That's when we believe in ourselves that our higher hopes can lead to greater heights of success and fulfillment. 

When we hope for something, we say, "it can happen." However, we're dealing with just a possibility of keeping our fingers crossed. It may or may not happen. Chances are when we don't get our hopes, we slow down and may easily give up. 

Leaping hope to faith is believing that something will truly happen. It's about removing doubts that things are hard to achieve. But with faith, nothing is impossible. That's the difference of why faith can make miracles in our lives. It's when we have great faith that we achieve things with easiness and a higher level of success.

When things go wrong or when we're behind in the race of life, we may pause for a moment, get energized, and take a giant leap from hope to faith. Then, the universe conspires to make things happen. It shifts our mindset from probability to a greater possibility. And our dreams and desires take a quantum leap of our faith to eternity. 

©️ 2022 Del Cusay

Related Post:

👉 Quantum Leap of Faith in the Summit


Monday, April 4, 2022

The Cherry Blossoms at David Lam Park

The spring has sprung. It's this time of the year when we experience a renewed season filled with joy as we the blossoming of flowers.

Springtime reminds me of rebirth and reinvigoration. We become more alive as days become more temperate and people enjoy the outdoors. 

This beautiful season is never complete without witnessing the cherry blossoms festival in Vancouver. And so we visit the charming district of Yaletown to celebrate the "Big Picnic" event. This is the best time to see the flower in full bloom and when many people are gathered as friends under the cherry trees. There are no strangers, but just friends and lovers.

The Big Picnic and the Cherry Blossoms Festival are organized to bring people together from Metro Vancouver to experience a day of fun and excitement. There are programs, art exhibits, and workshops for everyone to participate in, learn and enjoy.

This year's event may have been more significant as people move freely without restrictions. Mask mandate is lifted and people see each others' faces. But beyond faces are beautiful smiles, laughter, and joy that brighten up the day and lift the mood. 

What makes David Lam Park a magical experience is when people enjoy the hundreds of Akebono cherry trees that were donated by the 25th Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia, Dr. David Lam where the park was named in his honor.

There are physical fitness activities like yoga. It's a great way of becoming one with nature while relaxing the body and clearing the mind. There:s also winning haiku and haiku installations where they connect poems to the cherry trees.  

It's a good feeling when we see families and children enjoy the wide variety of programs and activities. It's good to see more people outdoors and appreciate wonderful nature in the heart of the city.

As the clock springs forward, we also show the world how we're moving forward despite the situation and still making joyful cherry blossom experiences and awesome memories. The Big Picnic is a special event that brings people together from different places in British Columbia to see the magical cherry blossoms and to experience "why there are no strangers under the cherry tree". We're all united, we believe we can be.

©️ 2022 Del Cusay

Monday, March 28, 2022

A day trip in White Rock: City by the Sea


What makes British Columbia beautiful is its stunning views of landscapes and seascapes. In Metro Vancouver, there's a place to see the natural grandeur of a city by the sea.

It's the City of White Rock -- about 45 km. south of downtown Vancouver, and just 10 mins. drive from the Peace Arch where the US-Canada border is located.

What's significant about this place is its rich history as a fishing village and where the place got its name. It's a literal white rock! A huge rock was carried away by glaciers to the South of the metro during the last glacial age period. It's also where Canada's longest pier is located, so people get to walk on a long and unique wooden structure originally built in the year 1914.

Walking down the steep hill heading to the main street is a magnificent view of Semiahmoo bay. There you can see beautiful houses on a hill overlooking the sea. Such a scenic view of the horizon on a sunny weekend. 

Approaching the main street is a promenade ideal place for fitness and sightseeing. We see people walk, jog, dine at a table, sit on benches and simply take a deep breath to rejuvenate the body, mind, and soul. 


Just a few meters walk and you'll be welcomed to enter the elevated wooden structure of the pier which is a fantastic landmark about 470 meters long. It's where individuals, couples, and families go for a stroll and enjoy the natural scenery. The majestic mountains, the flying seagulls, and the long stretch of beaches makes it a relaxing place to unwind.

The pier bridge underwent restoration in 1977 and was rebuilt and re-opened in 2019 after a wind storm hit the place at the year-end of 2018. This time they restored the pier to weather the storm and withstand natural calamities.



Visitors have to get down of the wooden lane structure to be on the shore at its low tide where they walk towards the 'white rock' visible even from a far distance. It's huge and a great landmark worth seeing. 

On the main strip of the town center is where you can see a long stretch of restaurants offering al fresco dining while enjoying the sunshine, the blue waters, and the cool sea breeze. Sunlight is just amazing as it gives a good vibe and a pleasant experience.

And whenever the sun shines so bright, we shouldn't miss the outdoors and have some fun. That's what the city of White Rock has to offer -- simply the sunniest place in the metro.

A trip to White Rock pier and promenade is a great way to experience what it's like to live in a city by the sea even for a day. They have preserved history and culture where peace and serenity are enjoyed by many. 

White Rock is surely a wonderful place to visit and live in. A vivid memory worth reminiscing; an awesome destination worth revisiting. 

©️ 2022 Del Cusay


Monday, March 21, 2022

The Labyrinth in Fleetwood Gardens

The winter season has finally ended in Canada. Gone are the snows, frosts, and the unbearable coldness for a newcomer like me. 

Finally, here comes the much-awaited season of all; the spring. The blossoming of flowers and tree leaves are just everywhere. I can't wait to see the cherry blossoms in different places on the metro as it gives a naturally stunning view of a picture-perfect scene. 

As we welcome the spring, it's the best time to visit a nearby park on a lovely and sunny day. Spend some time to relax, take a stroll and see people around enjoying the moment of fun. 

Fleetwood gardens are the best place to be due to their proximity to our home. It's located in a huge park where cherry blossoms are just waiting to bloom. The pergola gives a feel of a romantic walk for a couple and the benches to sit for soulful conversations.

The most memorable feature is the presence of a labyrinth. It's an ancient pattern found in many places and cultures around the world. A labyrinth has only a single path and no dead-ends. As we walk inside, it winds throughout and mirrors our current state in life. We walk in peace with an open heart and a clear mind. 

The labyrinth in Fleetwood gardens is a classical 7- circuit or path. It's now installed in many places like wellness centers, churches, and community parks as an alternative for healing the body, mind, and soul. 

As we walk the path, we become more mindful of the sensation of walking. And as we go along, we develop a strong sense of concentration and awareness needed to gain insights. 

A labyrinth walk has 3 stages and it gives wonderful healing benefits. The first stage is releasing or purgation. This is the time when we release all unwanted thoughts and mental distractions. This is also the time to quiet the mind and open our hearts. 

The second stage is receiving or illumination. As we reach the center, we stay for a moment to sit, stand as we do meditation, offer prayer, and allow ourselves to receive guidance from a higher source of power. 

The final stage is returning or union. As we're about to exit, we follow the same path back out. We then experience a stronger sense of wellbeing and clarity of mind. We feel more empowered to follow our life purpose and heart's desire. 

It feels good to welcome the spring with an open heart and a clear mind. Like a spring season, we're about to bloom like colorful fragrant flowers. A wonderful being with a beautiful soul; living each day to find meaning and purpose. We live our best life; give back and be generous. 

©️ 2022 Del Cusay

Monday, March 14, 2022

Fitness Goals in Fleetwood


Fitness continues from Manila to Surrey, British Columbia. Back home in the Philippines, I used to do a lot of fitness exercises on the streets of BGC on a cool morning and even on warm summer days.

Here in British Columbia, how could I step out for an outdoor walk on a rainy week? Yes, they say it rains a lot in BC, but the weather seems favourable to me as I expect a sunny day perfect for an afternoon stroll in the neighbourhood.

Fitness goals could be hard when stuck at home on gloomy and rainy winter days, but whenever I woke up with the rays of sunlight, then I must enjoy the outdoors. 

It's cold outside even when it's sunny with a daytime high of 10 degrees. However, the winter season is about to end and the best of spring is coming on the 20th of March.

Walking on the residential streets of Fleetwood on a cold afternoon is a great activity as I aim to become more physically fit. No sweat, but it makes me feel warmth at the end of less than an hour. That's already about half of my 6000 daily steps target. It feels good to get moving and see the beautiful neighbourhood around.

We travel to places occasionally and we try different global cuisine that suits the palate. Metro Vancouver has diverse food choices, and we couldn't resist the best of Asian cuisine. This, however, could be a challenge to my fitness goals as I increase caloric intake resulting to gain weight.

That's the reason why I need to burn the calories and unwanted fats. I need to walk. I need to run. I need to climb. And I need to jump up high. Here in Fleetwood, I'm glad to start my fitness journey by simply taking a stroll. Having a long walk in a day makes me feel energized and revitalized.

In the coming days and weeks, I'll be able to discover more places in Fleetwood where I can fully achieve my fitness goals. The quietness of the place and the simplicity of living is ideal for a healthy mind and body. This is where I always wanted to be. And here I am, about to live my life; to live my greatest life.

©️ 2022 Del Cusay

Sunday, March 6, 2022

Promenade Walk at Garry Point Park

Vancouver, Canada is on the top list of the world's most livable cities. It's surrounded by scenic mountain ranges and bodies of water that are naturally wonderful. 

When I arrived in Vancouver at the end of February, finally I landed in beautiful British Columbia. I was greeted with cold and gloomy weather for several days. From then on, I'm yet to see sunny weather ideal for sightseeing and walking in the neighbourhood.

A few days after I arrived, I'm glad to see the blue skies as we visited a dear friend in the city of Richmond.

That was a lovely sunny day in Steveston. A village in the Southwest of Richmond, British Columbia. The sea, the sand, the sun and the cool winter air match the scenic view of the surrounding sandy trail for a romantic stroll.

Looking at the horizon along the seaside is a spectacular view of Vancouver Island where the capital city of Victoria is located. That's a wonderful island to visit and explore, but this time I have to enjoy the moment at Garry Point Park. The ambiance and serenity are truly captivating and soothing perfect for a promenade walk to remember.

Metro Vancouver has a lot of parks, and I am grateful to have seen one of the many beautiful parks in the metro. It feels good to live in a city that is blessed with natural scenery that heals the body and the soul. And whenever I feel the need to unwind and rejuvenate, I'm glad there's always a place I can go to.

The Garry Point Park is a place for recreation. It has an open-air green space and trails for strolling and fitness activities. Young and old people would take a walk along the promenade with their partners and loved ones. Others would love to take their dogs while enjoying the cool sea breeze on a sunny day.

The coastline was once a fishing village and a site for canneries and boatbuilding warehouses. One of the prominent structures in the Park is the Steveston Memorial Needle which is a marker for all those who were injured or had died in the fishing industry in this place. 

Sitting on the big rock while watching the sailboats and big commercial boats pass by is a wonderful scene. It reminds people about its historical past as a thriving fishing village. 

The winter season in Canada is about to end, but the warm welcome feels like home. Perhaps that's one thing I need; to get warmth. Living in a tropical country for so long makes a little adjustment to the cold weather in Canada. However, I have to remember that season changes and doesn't stay forever. Soon the winter is over and the spring season awaits.

Like the hundreds of cherry blossom trees in Garry Point Park, it's beginning to blossom once again. When the spring season begins, hopefully, I'll witness the blooming of the Sakura trees; the cherry blossoms. And it blooms in many parks in the metro. It just blooms when it is ready. It blooms at the right season. And it blooms at the right time.

©️ 2022 Del Cusay